Three years ago, Damian Salas fell short of winning the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event title after finishing seventh out of 7,221 entries for $1.4 million, the biggest live cash of his career. Now, the Argentinian gets another chance to become a WSOP champ and book his first gold bracelet after winning the international leg of the 2020 WSOP Main Event on GGPoker for $1,550,969.
Salas, who is working as a lawyer in his home country of Argentina, is an accomplished poker pro with over $2.6 million in live tournament earnings. He currently ranks fourth in Argentina’s all-time money list and was the first Argentinian to ever make the final table of the WSOP Main Event.
WSOP Main Event Action Recap
The 2020 WSOP Main Event kicked off on GGPoker on November 29. All in all, the event pulled in a field of 674 entries across three starting flights online. That number was reduced to just 179 when Day 2 commenced on December 7. After around 10 hours of top-notch action, a final table of nine was set, with Brunno Botteon leading the chips.
The final action took place live at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, but only eight of the nine players traveled to the venue for the final battle. The other player, Chinese pro Peiyuan Sun, chose not to participate in the live final and officially became the ninth placer for $75,360.
Salas scored the first knockout of the day after Hannes Speiser ran into his pocket tens. The Austrian took home $109,982 for finishing eighth. Salas went on to eliminate Bulgaria’s Stoyan Obreshkov in seventh place for $160,512 after making aces and tens by the river, defeating the Bulgarian’s king-ten.
After that, it was Dominykas Mikolaitis’ time to go – the Lithuanian poker pro failed in a preflop race against Manuel Ruivo, with A-J against pocket threes, the latter picking a three on the flop to send his opponent out of the game in sixth place for $234,255.
Ruivo subsequently won a hand against Marco Streda, with the Swiss pro settling for fifth place, earning $341,879 for his efforts.
With his early knockouts, Salas gained a huge advantage through to the dinner break with only four players remaining. Botteon managed to narrow the lead when he finished off Spain’s Ramon Miguel Munoz in fourth place for $498,947 but Salas was able to widen the gap further after eliminating Ruivo in 3rd place $728,177.
Salas entered heads-up play with a 5:3 lead over Botteon. The eventual runner-up managed to grab the lead at some point, but Salas climbed his way back to the top after winning a huge pot. When the final hand was dealt, the Argentinian was in the lead 3:1 – the deciding moment came when Botteon put all of his remaining chips in the middle via a big bluff on a tricky board with many flush draws; Salas called with top pair to claim the top prize.
Botteon took home $1,062,723 in second prize to add to his online winnings in 2020. This year has been productive thus far for the Brazilian, as he also reached three final tables during the 2020 GGPoker WSOP Online Bracelet Series.
Future Plans
When asked about his plans for the future, Salas says he intends to continue practicing his profession as a lawyer in Argentina. He says he doesn’t want to focus all his energy on one area, and therefore he plans to do a lot of other things moving forward, not just poker. The Argentinian thanked his family and friends for their support.
If Salas ends up winning this year’s biggest poker tournament, he officially becomes Argentina’s first WSOP Main Event champion. He is set to face the winner of the event’s US leg in a special heads-up finale at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on December 30. The domestic portion has played down to the final nine on on December 14 and will declare a victor very soon.

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